April 26, 2018

Tenjin Sanshi Kojo (Tenjin Paper Factory)

Yoshiharu Tsukamoto Lab. (Tokyo Institute of Technology)

This is a 90-year-old paper factory in Uchiko, Ehime, that specializes in making Ozu washi (handmade Japanese paper). The paper is made using a traditional technique known as hikinagashisuki. With this technique, a suketa (mold and deckle) is repeatedly dipped into a mixture of pulp and water to scoop up the pulp. Once the desired thickness of pulp is achieved, the su (mold) is detached from the keta (deckle), and the wet paper in the su is set aside in a stack. The work area is lined with wooden sliding windows that provide the natural light needed for the craft workers to check the thickness of the paper. The windows are divided into three rows and three columns and fitted with nine panes of glass. The panes in the top two rows are frosted, while those on the bottom row are transparent, such that the light is scattered evenly as it enters the space.

Tenjin Sanshi Kojo (Tenjin Paper Factory)
Ozu Paper / Uchiko, Kita, Ehime

This article is an excerpt from “Window Workology,” a joint research project concerning windows and the behaviors around them done in collaboration with Tokyo Institute of Technologyʼs Yoshiharu Tsukamoto Laboratory.